Best Food Newcomers: Introducing Liverpool's Pao!
Looking for somewhere new to eat but can't decide between the latest pizza place or that Korean-fusion stand? Introducing Pao!, one of the winners of the best newcomer category, and what makes them so great
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the Northwest's food scene is on fire right now. From street food stalls to supper clubs, you can't turn around in Manchester or Liverpool without bumping into a newly opened eatery. While it’s all well and good living in a city where you can eat somewhere different every day, sometimes it helps to have a little more clarity, a little more guidance. That's where this year's Best Newcomer category comes in. Think of it as a veritable to-eat list of restaurants and food stalls that you need to prioritise in 2016. It is, to all intents and purposes, The Northwest’s Next Food Superstar! Yas, gawd!
We spoke to the trio behind Asian street-food gem Pao!, one of your favourite new food and drink venues, about their story and what it took to start a successful food business in 2015. You can check out the rest of the list here.
CHOOSE A GOOD NAME
“Pao means ‘to run’ in Mandarin Chinese. It's a bit of a tenuous link to street food, but we like the way it sounds – like a fist-pump!”
KNOW YOUR USP
“We wanted to provide good, healthy, interesting food that packs a flavour punch and fills you up without slowing you down. We love Asian cuisine and food culture, and it’s so nutritious and varied.”
HAVE A SIGNATURE DISH
“Our summer bentos are by far our most popular dish. We designed them to be a box full of gorgeous delights! Our crispy tofu with homemade black pepper ketchup also goes down a storm, too.”
DO IT FOR THE RIGHT REASONS
“All three of us have always wanted to run our own business, and when we found each other and realised that our skill sets complemented one another’s so well, it was a no-brainer!”
KEEP IT LOCAL
“We have lived in London and all over the shop, but we’ve all come back to Liverpool with knowledge, ideas and a healthy dose of focus and ambition to make a difference in some way. Liverpool offers some great opportunities for starting and growing a business, and if the weather was better, it’d be the perfect place!”
BUILD A GREAT TEAM
“Pao! is made up of Shelly Turner, an experienced chef and firebrand, whose food vision provides our backbone; Anna Brown, who joined us as a partner this October and has headed up many busy kitchens with unflappability and good grace; and Mia Tagg, who started in kitchens and front-of-house but moved to the business end of things about ten years ago.”
“Over the winter months we are doing pop-ups, catering and loads of events. We’re looking forward to being part of NYE at the Kazimier; a supper club collaboration with the fantastically impressive Buyers Club at the end of January; and a celebration of the Year of the Monkey at Claremont Farm in February.”
KEEP LOOKING FORWARD
“In the next few months we’re looking to buy our own truck, secure some added investment to grow our capacity and secure a plot of land. Watch this space!”